How I look after my mental health during my period
Periods affect everybody differently, but for some they may cause changes in mood. Saskia, 20, explains how she looks after her mental health during her period.
Periods affect everybody differently. For some people they may be really disruptive and difficult to manage, or have a big impact on their mood, while for others they may mean no more than a little discomfort. There is no one way to experience periods, this is just my experience. It’s important to be kind to yourself however your period affects you.
My mood during "that time of the month"
In all honesty, I dread the short period of time once a month when "mother nature calls". My mood becomes like a rollercoaster, with a significant amount of dips and turns, which can be overwhelming at times.
I feel like I'm not in control, as I go through periods of crying, irritability and intense lows. It feels as if there's no way out of feeling like this, and the intense physical pain only makes it harder to deal with these complicated emotions. It's often hard to stay level-headed and realise that I will only feel like this for a short amount of time.
The impact on my mental health
My mental health dips along with my mood during my period. I'm more prone to intrusive thoughts and negativity without realising the direct cause for the way I'm thinking or feeling.
I also used to be lured by the chocolate cupboard into comfort-eating, wanting to eat everything in sight, and not knowing when to stop. And then of course once my cravings had gone away I would just feel uncomfortable and sluggish. Unfortunately, I also feel isolated at times because I feel like I'm "too moody" to be around, or I want to be alone. However, being alone makes me feel lonely so no good ever comes of it.
Periods are very complicated, both mentally as well as physically.
How I deal with my periods
I find that keeping active is the best way of dealing with my sluggishness. Sugary foods tend to heighten the intensity of my mood swings, but things like going for a run, dancing, or walking my dog help me feel energised.
I also try to spend my free time with friends to boost my mood. As a person who likes to keep busy, days out are a perfect way to help keep my mood levels in check. This also helps me deal with feelings of isolation.
My top tips for people struggling with periods
Try and treat your period as you would any other week, to avoid letting it get on top of you. Distractions are always welcome and effective, so try going out with your friends or making plans with family if you can.
Remember that your period does not rule you. Aim to stay healthy. And most importantly, be kind to yourself! Even if it just means giving yourself a nice bubble bath, every kind thing you do for yourself will make your periods less of a burden.
Author: Saskia, 20
For more information on asking for help, talking to friends and family, and improving your self-esteem, check out our guide on looking after yourself.